Transcribed by Robert Jumper
I wanted to take just a moment to bring some information to you about the American Rescue Plan funding that has been awarded to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Previously, myself and Secretary of Treasury Corey Blankenship shot a video (May 19, 2021) on (American Rescue Plan) funding and we told you then that we would bring more information once it was available as to how much funding would be provided to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. I have in my hand the guidelines provided by the Treasury Department. It’s 158 pages long that gives guidance and direction for how tribes may expand the funds.
The Eastern Band of Indians has been awarded $117,260,243.51. In the coming weeks, the Executive Branch, the Treasury, Finance and Tribal Council will work on a plan to determine how the funds will be best dispensed to the community. I ask for your patience as we develop the plan.
We’re very grateful that this round of funding comes with a much longer time period in order to expand the funds of three years as opposed to the six months that we had for CARES Act funding. I’ll share some insight for eligible uses for the funding that are included in the guidelines. Funds may be used to support public health expenditures, address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, replace lost public sector revenue, provide premium pay for essential workers, invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure as well as many other areas. Once again, I ask for your patience as we work on a plan in concert with Tribal Council and the Treasury Department and as soon as that plan is ready we will bring that information to you.